Ashleigh Banks

Eugene, OR, United States

About Ashleigh

Universities

University of Oregon

Comments & conversations

186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
When I looked it up 140g of chicken is about 43g of proteins so clearly chicken is superior. Fish is about 28g of protein for every 100g which is very comparable to certain insects. But in geographic locations where chicken or fish isn't readily available, I could see insects being used as a viable source of protein.
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
I was really surprised by the amount of protein that is actually found in insects. A caterpillar has up to 28.2 g of protein which is even more a lean ground beef (27.4g). A caterpillar seems relatively harmless in regards to out-competing other insects and become an invasive species if insect farming were to exploded worldwide. But what about other insects? A giant water beetle has 19.8g of protein but it an intense predator of aquatic crustaceans, fish, and amphibians. Amphibians are already at risk for population decline due to infectious disease and other factors, do we want to put them at more risk? While insect farming may be a good idea for certain insect species it may not be a good idea for all species. http://www.ent.iastate.edu/misc/insectnutrition.html
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
I completely agree with you, this is a valid and interesting idea to feed a hungry world. But is this necessary for America or other westernized countries? I am not convinced it is or that it would even work. Insects have great indirect benefits for human with their ability to remove wastes, pests, to pollinate crops and much more. In the TED talk attached to this conversation, the speaker states we are already eating insects in almost every processed foods. That statement concerned me, not because insects are bad, but because if they are already there why are we going to promote their expansion. It's like you said, it will be very difficult to control the population of insect farming as we go. It could lend up in the same tragic manner that our traditional protein sources have degraded to (commercialize farming.)
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
I definitely think its possible for the US to have an urban beekeeping industry but we have some work to do before it will be globally successful. As a biology student, I have the understanding and knowledge to appreciate how important bees are for pollination, the environment, and biodiversity. But do a majority of people also have this understanding? From personal experience, I highly doubt the value of bees is well understood. I think the best way to get this project rolling on a global level is to educate people. Social media and mass media could play a major role in the transformation of people's ideas about bees. This may be ignorant but most people are afraid of bees because they could get stung or they are allergic. If the state governments offered an income property tax discount for those that install bee hives in the environment, more people may be inclined to have one of these urban beehives.
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
Large-scale development that has been occurring recently is frightening because the consequences are not concrete.The Cange area is difficult because they are faced with one problem while trying to fix another. Its a fine line because poverty promotes disease and disease promotes poverty. These government have just chosen an option that harms biodiversity and human health. Sadly, people tend to only react when it directly affects them so in this case I wonder does the Brazilian government think they will be doing it differently and therefore the consequences wont be as extreme?
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
As much as the USA wants to fix everyone else's problems when we should really focus on fixing our own problems. In that same sense, Brazil is going to be the only country that has the final say in situation such as this one. Unless, does the involved have to be global uproar? UN involvement? At what point can a government be persuaded to change on their own?
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I completely agree! This is a complicated issue but the bottom line is the country's economic needs. We can find an alternative manner to supply energy and some form of capital gain, the amazon ecosystem at risk could be saved. There needs to be an alternative to their energy needs that will meet these needs. The use of microalgae for energy might be an interesting alternative. Jonathan Trent gave a Ted talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_trent_energy_from_floating_algae_pods.html) that suggests using microalgae in waster water to create biofuels and sequester carbon dioxide. He calls his invention OMEGA, Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae. They us solar energy to grow, and the wave energy on the surface provides energy for mixing the algae, and the temperature is controlled by the surrounding water temperature. The algae that grow produce oxygen, biofuels, fertilizer, food other bi-algal products of interest. I wonder if this could be applied as a remedy to this situation.
186863
Ashleigh Banks
Posted about 2 years ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I found one article that suggested that declawed cats actually kill more birds then cats that still have their claws. I found this interesting because intuitively I would of suspected the opposite to be true. All outdoor cats kill birds, whether they are feral strays hunting for a meal or well-fed pets let out for some fresh air. They kill birds whether they have been neutered or not. Even a declawed cat can kill birds. Some have suggested putting a bell on the cat, but that won't change an animals instinct to kill their prey. The information available in the articles about cat predation all suggests that the only suggestion is to keep the animals indoors. This leads to be wonder how do we go about changing a species naturally instinct? We did it before, after all cats weren't domesticated since their origin. Are there behavioral approaches that we can train cats with to combat this issue?